Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite” is a fascinating example of how a film can deftly switch between historical drama and satire without losing its essence. Set in 18th century England, the film focuses on life at the court of Queen Anne of Great Britain, but with an approach that is anything but conventional.
The central plot revolves around three female characters, played brilliantly by Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. As Queen Anne, Colman delivers a performance that is a complex mix of fragility and moodiness, showing the queen as both a pathetic and deeply human figure. Weisz as the Duchess of Marlborough and Stone as Abigail Masham present a game of manipulation and political strategy as each fights for their place and power at court.
Known for his unique style, Lanthimos utilizes unique visual techniques such as fisheye lenses and angled cinematography to create an aesthetic that is as captivating as the narrative itself. The soundtrack, which ranges from classic to contemporary, adds another special feature to “The Favourite”. and sets it apart from other historical films.
However, The Favorite may not be a film for everyone. Lanthimos' unusual approach, combined with a script that sometimes seems lost in its own sarcasm, might confuse some viewers. Rather than sticking to an accurate historical account, the film focuses on exploring the complexities and contradictions of its characters and their era.
What makes “The Favorite” so remarkable is its ability to combine historical drama with a modern, cynical perspective, supported by exceptional performances. The film is a reminder that history does not have to be told in a linear or traditional way to be compelling, and that historical figures can be as complex and fallible as any fictional character.
The narrative is enriched by the relationship between Queen Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough, which goes beyond simple friendship and adds a level of emotional depth to the film. The entry into the courtroom of Abigail Masham, a woman from a ruined family, brings with her a new element of intrigue and ambition.
Emma Stone, who plays Abigail, brings a distinct freshness and energy to the film, particularly in her scenes with Colman and Weisz. His character, characterized by coincidence and opportunism, plays a crucial role in the dynamics of the court and in the narrative.
The sense of confinement, enhanced by the use of fisheye lenses, along with the remarkable performances of the three leading actresses make The Favorite a work that stands out in its genre. Colman, Weisz and Stone, each with their own complexities and miseries, form the core of the story.
“The Favorite” is a film that defies expectations and conventions and is a reminder of cinema's ability to reimagine and interpret history in surprising and captivating ways. It is a work that, despite its peculiarities, offers a refreshing and stimulating look at historical figures and the power games that surrounded them.
Movie: The favourite
Direction: Yorgos Lanthimos